Cover image for From Cold War to hot peace : an American ambassador in Putin's Russia / Michael McFaul.
From Cold War to hot peace : an American ambassador in Putin's Russia / Michael McFaul.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018.
Physical Description:
xiii, 506 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
REVOLUTION -- The First Reset -- Democrats of the World, Unite! -- Yeltsin's Incomplete Revolution -- Putin's Thermidor -- RESET -- Change We Believe In -- Launching Obama's Reset -- Universal Values -- The First (and Last) Moscow Summit -- The New STARTTreaty -- Denying Iran the Bomb -- Hard Accounts: Russia's Neighborhood and Missile Defense -- Burgers & Spies -- The Arab Spring, Libya, and the Beginning of the End of the Reset -- "His Excellency" -- REACTION -- Putin Needs an Enemy: America, Obama, and Me -- Getting Physical -- Push Back -- Twitter and the Two-Step -- It Takes Two to Tango -- Chasing Russians, Failing Syrians -- Dueling on Human Rights -- Going Home -- Annexation and War in Ukraine -- The End of Resets (for Now) -- Epilogue: The Trump-Putin Bromance.
Personal Subject:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
327.73047 MCF Book Adult General Collection

On Order




From the diplomat Putin wants to interrogate--and has banned from Russia--a revelatory, inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present

"A fascinating and timely account of the current crisis in the relationship between Russia and the United States." -- New York Times Book Review

Putin would need an enemy, and he turned to the most reliable one in Russia's recent history: the United States and then, by extension, me.

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join an unlikely presidential campaign, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today's most contentious and consequential international relationships. As President Barack Obama's adviser on Russian affairs, McFaul helped craft the United States' policy known as "reset" that fostered new and unprecedented collaboration between the two countries. Andthen, as U.S. ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, he had a front-row seat when this fleeting, hopeful moment crumbled with Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency. This riveting inside account combines history and memoir to tell the full story of U.S.-Russia relations from the fall of the Soviet Union to the new rise of the hostile, paranoid Russian president. From the first days of McFaul's ambassadorship, the Kremlin actively sought to discredit and undermine him,hassling him with tactics that included dispatching protesters to his front gates, slandering him on state media, and tightly surveilling him, his staff, and his family.

From Cold War to Hot Peace is an essential account of the most consequential global confrontation of our time.

Author Notes

Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News. Dr. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He has written several books, including From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia; Advancing Democracy Abroad: Why We Should, How We Can; with Kathryn Stoner, Transitions To Democracy: A Comparative Perspective; with James Goldgeier, Power and Purpose: American Policy toward Russia after the Cold War; and Russia¿s Unfinished Revolution: Political Change from Gorbachev to Putin. Dr. McFaul was born and raised in Montana. He received his B.A. in International Relations and Slavic Languages and his M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from Stanford University in 1986.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Stanford political science professor McFaul, who was posted to Moscow as U.S. ambassador from 2012 to 2014, provides useful insights into the changing relationship between America and Russia in this smart, personable mix of memoir and political analysis. McFaul first traveled to the then Soviet Union in 1983 as an undergraduate, and his resulting longtime interest in Russia turned to active engagement in 2007, when he was asked to advise the Obama campaign, a role that morphed into a position as special assistant to the president and senior director for Russian affairs. His tenure in the White House and then in Moscow coincided with increased tensions with the Putin regime, which ultimately accused the U.S. of interference in its elections and declared McFaul persona non grata, despite his energetic outreach to the Russian people, which included unprecedented interactions for an American on social media. McFaul does not believe Putinism as it exists today was inevitable, pointing to George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq as a "devastating blow to bilateral relations" that might otherwise have continued their post-9/11 progress. The author's privileged perspective as both an academic and policy maker makes this an essential volume for those trying to understand one of the U.S.'s most significant current rivals. Agent: Tina Bennett, WME. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

New York Review of Books Review

MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION, by Ottessa Moshfegh. (Penguin Press, $26.) In Moshfegh's darkly comic and profound novel, a troubled young woman evading grief decides to renew her spirit by spending the year sleeping. "I knew in my heart," she tells the reader, "that when I'd slept enough, I'd be O.K." DAYS OF AWE, by A. M. Homes. (Viking, $25.) The author's latest collection of stories confronts the beauty and violence of daily life with mordant wit and a focus on the flesh. Hanging over it all are questions, sliced through with Homes's dark humor, about how we metabolize strangeness, danger, horror. The characters seem to be looking around at their lives and asking: Is this even real? THE WIND IN MY HAIR: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran, by Masih Alinejad. (Little, Brown, $28.) In her passionate and often riveting memoir, Alinejad - an Iranian-American journalist and lifelong advocate for Muslim women - unspools her struggles against poverty, political repression and personal crises. IMPERIAL TWILIGHT: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age, by Stephen R. Platt. (Knopf, $35.) Platt's enthralling account of the Opium War describes a time when wealth and influence were shifting from East to West, and China was humiliated by Britain's overwhelming power. FROM COLD WAR TO HOT PEACE: An American Ambassador in Putin's Russia, by Michael McFaul. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30.) McFaul's memoir of his years representing the United States in Russia describes how his lifelong efforts to promote international understanding were undone by Vladimir Putin. HOUSE OF NUTTER: The Rebel Tailor of Savile Row, by Lance Richardson. (Crown Archetype, $28.) You may not know the name Tommy Nutter, but you should; he was a brilliant tailor who transformed stodgy Savile Row men's wear into flashy, widelapeled suits beloved by the likes of Elton John, the Beatles, Mick Jagger and Diana Ross back in the 1960s and 1970s. SPRING, by Karl Ove Knausgaard. Translated by Ingvild Burkey. (Penguin Press, $27.) This novel, the third of a quartet of books addressed to Knausgaard's youngest child and featuring the author's signature minutely detailed description, recounts a medical emergency and its aftermath. HALF GODS, by Akil Kumarasamy. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Across decades and continents, the characters in this affecting debut story collection are haunted by catastrophic violence, their emotional scars passed from one generation to the next. STILL LIFE WITH TWO DEAD PEACOCKS AND A GIRL: Poems, by Diane Seuss. (Graywolf, paper, $16.) Death, class, gender and art are among the entwined preoccupations in this marvelously complex and frightening volume. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web:

Library Journal Review

Former ambassador to the Russian Federation, McFaul (political science, Stanford) provides the reader with an overview of his experiences and thoughts on recent relations between the United States and Russia. McFaul's examination of Soviet and American internal and international politics is peppered with key events and personalities from Reagan and Gorbachev to Putin and Obama to the many realized and unrealized opportunities, such as Iran and Syria. The narration of L.J. Ganser is clear, and his well-employed skills make a dense read engaging. VERDICT While this work provides an interesting insider's view of Russian politics as well as a mix of scholarly framework and personal narrative, it comes off at times as a bit self-serving and biased. ["A fine narrative of the rise and decline of America's Russian policy in the Obama years": LJ 6/1/18 starred review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]-Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.